Keep up to-date with travel advice with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) before travelling to Thailand as travel updates changes from time to time.
Travelling to Thailand? Need vaccinations?
Travel vaccinations for Thailand
You may even find there are some jabs for Thailand that you don’t need because you have had them already, or because the specific area you are going to is low risk.
What injections do I need for Thailand?
MMR (Measles, mumps & rubella) & DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus & polio)
MMR and DTaP are injections for Thailand that all travellers need. You may have already had these Thailand vaccinations as part of life in the UK, however these do need to be updated so check in with one of our travel specialists.
Typhoid & hepatitis A
These diseases are transferred through contaminated food and water and can lead to severe illness and even death. There is no cure for Hepatitis A, once you have it, you need to manage it at home. We recommend these vaccinations for Thailand but talk to your travel specialist who can tailor this advice for your specific trip.
Japanese Encephalitis is transferred by mosquito bite. Symptoms usually take 5-15 days to appear and cause severe illness that may cause a coma or death. Hepatitis B can be passedby body fluids, such as saliva and sexual fluids. Symptoms appear from 60-120 days and can take months to disappear, although this is an incurable disease.
Rabies can be transferredby animals through licking, biting or scratching. It is essential to be checked immediately.
More than 800,000 British tourists visit Thailand every year. Based in South-east Asia, its neighbours are Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
The table below provides a general guide as to the Travel Vaccinations that may be advised to you for travel to Thailand. Note that the Vaccinations and Medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person. Everyone should have a personal risk assessment with a travel health professional to take into account a range of factors such as itinerary, medical condition, occupational and lifestyle risk factors and previous vaccination history.
|Vaccination||All Travellers||Most Travellers||Some Travellers||Major Risk|
|MMR||Yes||Person-to-Person||Measles, mumps, rubella, Course of Two||£50|
|DTaP||Yes||Person-to-Person||Tetanus, Diptheria, polio, Single Dose||£40|
|Typhoid||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Typhoid, single dose||£50|
|Hepatitis A||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Hepatitis A, Single Dose||£60|
|Cholera||Yes||Contaminated Food and Water||Cholera, for course of 2||£35|
|Hepatitis B||Yes||Body Fluids, Medical Intervention||Hepatitis B, Course of Three||£65|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Yes||Mosquitoes||Japanese encephalitis, Course of Two||£90|
|Rabies||Yes||Infected Animals||Rabies, Course of Three||£65|
Advice for travellers to all destinations
The Vaccinations and Medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person. Everyone should have a personal risk assessment with a travel health professional to take into account a range of factors such as itinerary, medical condition, occupational and lifestyle risk factors and previous vaccination history.
How long before going to Thailand do you need injections?
We recommend coming in to see us 6-8 weeks before your travel. This is also the national standard for Thailand injections in the UK.
This standard exists to give your body the best chance possible to protect you from disease. There are still courses of action if you have been unable to plan life that far ahead. We definitely recommend speaking to one of our travel health specialists about this as soon as possible and they can tailor something for you.
Note that the vaccinations and medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person. Everyone should have a personal risk assessment with a travel health professional to take into account a range of factors such as itinerary, medical condition, occupational and lifestyle risk factors and previous vaccination history.
Risk of malaria in Thailand
Malaria is a viral illness spread by Mosquitoes that bite from dusk to dawn throughout the tropical world. It causes high fever and severe joint and muscle pains. In serious cases, malaria can be fatal. Travellers can take Malaria Medication to help stop malaria from developing.
Travellers to areas where there is a Risk of Malaria should get advice regarding Malaria Medication which can be taken to help stop the illness from developing. The type of medication required depends on your destination, itinerary, length of stay and current medical condition.
Further reduce the risk of by practicing mosquito Bite Avoidance by using Insect Repellant such as DEET 50% and covering exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
Yellow fever risk and certification requirements for Thailand
Yellow Fever is a serious viral illness spread by mosquitoes in the tropical regions of Africa and South America. For further information, please see Yellow Fever Vaccination.
Under International Health Regulations (2005), travellers who have been to an Area affected by Yellow Fever, or who have travelled via an airport of a country affected, are required to present an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICVP) before they are allowed to enter Thailand.
Additional travel health risks for Thailand
Heat and humidity
Thailand is generally hot and humid throughout the year and temperatures can reach over 40°, especially during the hot season from March to May. Avoid sunburn and heatstroke by making sure you are sun-aware and use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply regularly. Stay hydrated by making sure you drink lots of water throughout the day.
Street dogs, cats, bats and rodents are common throughout the cities and rural areas of Thailand. If you get bitten or scratched you will need to get urgent medical attention. Animal bites expose you to a range of infections including rabies. This may be one of the vaccines for Thailand that you need, be sure to book an appointment and consult a travel health professional about this.
From the offset, travellers arriving in Thailand must be aware of mosquitoes and insects. All over Thailand, you can get dengue fever and Japanese Encephalitis and there is a risk of malaria in some parts of the country. Ensure you have had a consultation to see whether this is one of your injections needed for Thailand. Take steps to avoid insect bites including wearing insect repellent such as DEET 50% and covering areas of exposed skin with long sleeves and trousers.
Part of the experience of travelling to Thailand is enjoying the food, especially stall and street food. Do take steps to avoid travellers diarrhoea. When eating from stalls and street vendors, you want to choose a vendor that looks popular, especially with locals. You also want to see the vendor cooking the food, as it is the heat that will kill off the bacteria. Some travellers, especially those travelling with children, like to carry their own plates and cutlery to ensure the cleanliness of what they are eating off.
Drinking water in Thailand
It is generally not recommended that you drink the tap water in Thailand. Buy bottled water and use this for drinking and brushing your teeth. Some of the most common bottled water brands in Thailand are Aura, Mont Fleur, Minere, Nestle PureLife and Aqua.
Thailand is a notorious destination for contracting travellers diarrhoea. Once arriving in Thailand you need to immediately start thinking about personal hygiene. Use alcohol gel, wash your hands regularly and monitor what you are putting in your mouth.
Thailand is generally a safe country for travellers, and most of the 800,000 British people who travel there every year do not experience any problems. However, there have been a number of violent attacks, especially on the southern party islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Travellers, both men and women, should generally keep their wits about them throughout the country, especially late at night.
Adventure travellers are advised to practice Water Safety as there have been a lot of accidents in Thailand with operators over filling boats that head out to the islands in the south. There is virtually no health and safety regulations in place or lifeboats and the operators may not be qualified. If a boat looks overloaded or in a bad condition, wait for the next one or pay extra to go on a good boat. The weather can also be very changeable and operators will continue to operate in weather that might be dangerous.
Road Safety is a very serious risk when travelling in Thailand. Caution is advised when using tuk-tuks, mopeds and motorbikes. If you plan to hire a scooter then always think of your own safety first, especially when it comes to roads and vehicles.
Political safety and terrorism
Following the well publicised military take over of the government in May 2014 martial law is currently in place across Thailand. Before the coup there were large protests and demonstrations throughout the country, some of which were violent. Travellers are advised to avoid any political gatherings in Thailand.
Make sure you have health insurance in place that will cover the full range of activities you plan to undertake while you are in Thailand.
Travellers to Thailand will usually arrive in Bangkok, a modern, vibrant and very well developed city with everything that you would expect in a major city with department stores, major hotels, bars and parks. However, many travellers do experience some form of Culture Shock when visiting Thailand, taking a few days to adjust.
Useful resources and contacts for Thailand
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): Travel Advice for Thailand.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): British Embassy in Bangkok
British Council: British Council in Thailand
British Chamber of Commerce: British Chamber of Commerce Thailand
British Embassy Bangkok
Address: 14 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
Telephone+66 (0) 2 305 8333
Fax+66 (0) 2 255 9278
The Consulate in Chiang Mai
Address: 198 Bumrungraj Road, Muang, Chiang Mai, 50000, Thailand
Telephone+66 (0) 2 305 8333
Fax(+66) (53) 263 016
In the neighbourhood, Southeast Asia
If you are travelling further afield throughout Southeast Asia make sure you check out the vaccination injections that you need for every country that you are going to.